Monday, August 24, 2009

Size matters

Look Stubby, I know you've got talent but sometimes size matters. Look at Dorchester, Mass., that neighborhood that dwarfs the rest of Boston like a pot belly supported by spindly legs. Square miles more vast than other Boston neighborhoods, with a bigger, more diverse population that would win a a tug-o-war if Dorchester's horde held one end of the rope opposite any other part of Boston, Dorchester can dot any other part of ye olde Beane Towne's eye.

Size matters. It takes many cells to make a body. The Dot's got 'em with some to spare. That's the white count (WBCs, are what we call this in the medical trade). Dorchester is immune to infection or contamination. Boston is a city with a egg head, a pencil neck and protected pockets. The city is ham-handed with two left feet, a glass jaw, a bum wing, a gimp, crossed-eyed, and mumble-tongued. Not in Dorchester though. In Dorchester, loopy thinking gets left at the Andrew gate's turn style. There's a collection box and when that box is full, all the fool notions get carried back inbound, special delivery, COD, return to sender. Thanks but no thanks, bub, we've got enough hubbub without your back-biting folderol.

Boston also has a soul, a vast, various, glorious sense of hope that isn't defined by circumstance, race, situation, prospect, or education. This is the Cradle of Liberty, after all. You can earn every degree from one of Boston's colleges and not know anything about how the city works at its most intimate level. Traffic flows through the streets like sustaining blood through arteries. The outer neighborhoods are as well supplied as the core, most often more so. The salt of the earth isn't paved over or hemmed in. It lies exposed on plains, whether in Jamaica or Newmarket, or on the expansive spread of the beautiful Dot. Puddingstone forms the bedrock of Boston, honest Roxbury puddingstone, the kind that rears out the ground in Franklin Park and Dorchester Park and in West Roxbury and Hyde Park.

Boston has heart and that heart beats forcefully in Dorchester. Sometimes bigger is better. Sometimes bigger is best. That's the case in Boston. The biggest neighborhood is best. That's Dorchester...Dorchester, Mass. If you never forget it, you'll never regret it.

And Stubby, I know you got your nickname because you lost a few fingers while working the docks. No hard feelings, pal. Thanks for taking one for Boston Harbor's commerce. Thanks for living in Dorchester. It wouldn't be the same without you. In Dorchester, everyone counts.

2 comments:

Jack said...

Man I wish I lived in Dorchester; or at least had the ability to craft an ode to my own home port with as agile a hand. Cheers Dorchester

Whalehead King said...

Thanks Jack. It's an inspiring place!

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